1069 8-19-2015 Soft-serve Ice cream Day

This week the pink phlox are on their second bloom. When they were done in the spring I cut them back and apparently having frustrated their efforts to make seeds, they gave us another round. The white ones bloomed last week, and this week the pink ones came out. Some Purple Loostrife came out in the backyard and I made a bouquet of them and goldenrod, but they faded in just a couple of days. I was disappointed.
While the chickens did start laying, they seem to have escaped- there were still three last week, but they’re all gone this week. I have no idea how they got out. Darn! I was looking forward to having our own fresh eggs! They may still be around in all the tall foliage, but I haven’t heard or seen any of them lately.

The girls are off at Maine with their friends, for “Cabin in the Woods”- where they “sit around eating, sleeping, and doing art (swimming is incidental)”. They are pretty honest about what they’re there for. It’s relaxing. (“how do people relax?” Willow asked as they got into the car.) She also wondered why she had five different bundles/bags besides the clothes and bedding. I was able to easily think of “handwork” (because god forbid you ever have nothing to do with your hands!), games (apples to apples and cards against humanity, possibly hungry hungry hippos), art supplies, and there was something else too I didn’t guess. I’m not sure she didn’t count the food or the bedding. We’ve taken to bringing our sheets along with us when we go up to camp. The last thing you have to do when you leave is put clean sheets on all the beds. If you have to take them off, wash them and dry them, you have to wait for them to cycle through. Bring your own and you can wash them at home so just get into the car! Sadly, when grabbing sheets and towels we discovered that the linens at the bottom of the linen closet were damp (and smelled of mildew- ick) and since this is the second time that’s happened, wonder if there could be a leak that goes to the linen closet. But why the bottom?
Other aspects of this gathering is that they make music mixes to share on the trip, and I think they take turns cooking. They actually buy most of the food when they get there, and this is not the time to worry about healthy food- although I note that in their heap there’s a bunch of fruit and the vitamin boxes have pride of place. I already miss their wit at dinner. Frankly, John and I have been having minimal meals since there are only two of us.  It just doesn’t seem worth setting the table doing a full meal  for only two. They left Monday morning, and in theory they’re planning on coming back on Monday.
I am feeling a bit housebound as Willow’s car flunked inspection in July and the appointment to fix it is for next Monday. I have it in case of emergency, but won’t be running out for milk or anything non-essential.
These are the stairs up to the loft- as there are only two downstairs bedrooms, I figure at least two of them have to negotiate the “steep and narrow stairway”. At least it has a railing, which it didn’t when I was a kid. (Of course, it also didn’t have the wooden half of the stairs, I had to use a ladder for the last bit until the camp was expanded.

So this week is very low-key. I am trying to get the house recovered from the pre-Pennsic and then unloading mess. Catch up on the mail, and then, I hope, plunge into working on Changing Times-Changing Worlds. Jane and I have discussed it and are cutting plans back to a mini-con this year. I have no idea whether this is the last year or it will recover and get big again next year. We’d hoped to have gotten together a group of people who would take over after five years, but it hasn’t happened yet, and running a conference does take a lot of work.
Frankly, I didn’t do much this past week because I had a cold. I’ll admit, I came home with every conscious intent of taking the post-Pennsic week easy. I know when you’ve put out a huge effort, you often get sick as soon as you relax, so I hoped that if I planned to relax, I could at least enjoy the non-productive week without cold symptoms. Sadly, looking back on it, I can track my first symptom (tickle in the throat) to when I went to bed after we got home Monday, and I figured it would be safe to at least make a to-do list so I could perhaps make a phone call or two- nothing energetic, just have an idea of what the accumulation looked like. Oops. Apparently that was enough to tell my  subconscious I didn’t really mean it, but planned to work anyway. (ah ha! I have a virus available I can call on!) So it progressed in a very predictable manner from sore throat through runny nose, sneezing, coughing and finally collapsing in bed, moving on to feeling better but still week and phegmy, to recovery. Well, phoeey! I guess that’s why Megan takes her post-Pennsic Vacation somewhere else where she can’t deal with all the foolishness. (Hurricanes, yes, backed up correspondence, no.) Willow, on the other hand, says she needs the week at home to recover from Pennsic before heading for Cabin in the Woods.
Among other things I have accomplished is updating my website, looking at upcoming events- it looks like there are only two Pagan Pride Days still going this year. Both Eastern Mass and New Hampshire are cancelled! On the other hand, A Sacred Place seems to be having a psychic fair I may go to the last weekend of August. (Although we spaced the Lyndeboro Town Day on Saturday- meant to go up and say hi to neighbors, but forgot what day it was.)
Also, I spent a bunch of time writing the Order of the Laurel. For one thing, the deadline for returning the polling for the next reign is this week, for another, I’d told Steffan at the war I’d talk to the King about an award for Merchants. And I also (since I’ve been going to so many courts lately) gotten sensitive to not recognizing the peers. These are the people who have done some really cool stuff, and whenever I see it, I’m impressed, so I feel I should know them. Last time this was bugging me was in 1978, so I put out the first Armorial of the East. Of course, at that point we got ALL the peers on 20 pages, sixteen to a page. Now, more than 35 years later, there are over 400 Laurels alone. I suggested a website listing all the Laurels and what they got their elevation for. Let’s face it, the people who are doing dancing (reconstructing Tudor dances from primary sources) know nothing about Anglo-Saxons, and would probably never bump into me at any part of an event. I don’t see the fighting or armor much and know very little about the areas I am not working in. We are so big now that we DON’T know everyone else. So if someone really wants to know about Anglo-Saxons, and are in NJ or even CT, they may never know what a treasure trove of information I am. Someone who’s doing spinning won’t necessarily have bumped into Kris Spinster (not a Laurel yet, but I’m hoping). Anyway, I pushed that idea too, and while I was at it, the idea that maybe each group should have a Chronicler/historian who actually writes up what happens at events (the way we used to). This too is really hard because when events had 30-40 people at it, one person could spot most of the cool stuff that happened. These days we’d probably have to have a team covering court, and the various lists, feast, and other activities. Speaking as the rather failed historian of Stonemarche, I know this is a hard one- but it’s a pity to lose our history.
The floor in the back hall is drying out, so I guess whatever the plumber did last week worked. I just hope that whatever pipes he turned off aren’t ones we were using. I guess we’ll find out.

I have a surprise guest on the New Normal tonight. I was at the computer and got a call and the guy asks “am I on the air?” and I was confused because I wasn’t broadcasting, but instead of hanging up, he asked what show I did and we talked for about an hour on paranormal subjects. I didn’t have a guest for tonight yet, so I asked him if he’d be on, and he said yes, so he was on tonight, and played a tape he’d made in a graveyard and from no where there’s a kids voice screaming “Daddy!”. It was far more clear than in most of these EVP tapes I’ve heard. I have no idea what made that sound bit appear on his tape, but it was there. We also don’t have any idea why when he called the number of a different talk show he was connected to my house- but he did, and repeatedly. We checked. Weird. Anyway, I took it as either a happy coincidence that led to a guest for me, or another example that when given the opportunity to talk about it without being judged, most people have had a “paranormal” experience ore two.

The other day I watched Much Ado About Nothing again (the Kenneth Branaugh version) and the music, which is marvelous, got stuck in my head, so I was looking for the actual lyrics to the “Pardon,  Goddess of the Night” song (It’s really awful to have a song stuck in your head when you don’t know the words) when I tripped over a very strange “metal?” version which said it was from the David Tennant/Katherine Tate version. I found that on Digital Theatre, and watched. Sadly, it kept skipping during the streaming which was maddening, but still worth it because Tennant and Tate were great. I did eventually download the sound-track from the Brannaugh version from I tunes, really wonderful music! Then, as I searched, I tripped over a Youtube shorts Shakespeare Summarized: Much Ado About Nothing. – which seems to have been a video made for a school assignment summarizing the play (or rather the movie, which uses a lot of clips). I spent hours looking at more of these “Overly Sarcastic Production” bits by the same person- Macbeth, Hamlet, Midsummernight’s Dream, Julius Ceasar. She even did one of the Iliad, Odyssey, and Aneid (which having just read it this spring on one of those on-line courses, was a fair run-down. Also I rather like her commentary.  And I love her little chibi illustrations.

While I was doing nothing I read fiction. I read some of the Pliny stories by Albert Bell, and the Roman Mystery Scrolls (a second series, I think aimed at a younger readership) from Caroline Laurence. I’m also finishing some of the books on the Franks I was reading before the war- but while I was sick I wasn’t able to concentrate on non-fiction as well.
Reading over my journal to try to figure out what happened this week was pretty pathetic. Very brief notes mentioning symptoms and not much else. (Speaking of which, my little toe still hurts, so I figure it was broken. I hope it doesn’t ache for the rest of my life.

PeriThis is Peri napping on the window seat. This is pretty much what I did this week, but Peri is a heck of a lot cuter than I am when she’s doing it.

Let’s hope that next week is more interesting- but in a good way.

“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities” Benjamin Franklin (wouldn’t you just love to know what precipitated this bon mot?)